Relations

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Race Hussling Capitalism?

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign announced and subsequently canceled a sale of collegiate hooded sweatshirts after eliciting the ire of many conservatives, including radio commentator Rush Limbaugh, reports Yahoo News.

On Tuesday, Limbaugh said he believes the 2012 re-election campaign was looking to exploit the death of shooting victim Trayvon Martin.

“The Barack Obama reelection effort is exploiting the death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, in order to secure votes from African-Americans,” Limbaugh said on his talk-radio show.

“That’s just tasteless.”

The Obama campaign announced via Twitter on Monday that the sweatshirts would be discounted to $40 from its regular $50 listing. As of Tuesday evening, the sale had been cancelled.

Gee, I thought Socialists hated Capitalist exploitation… 🙂

And now for more “creepy”:

Peggy Noonan: Something’s happening to President Obama’s relationship with those who are inclined not to like his policies. They are now inclined not to like him. His supporters would say, “Nothing new there,” but actually I think there is. I’m referring to the broad, stable, nonradical, non-birther right. Among them the level of dislike for the president has ratcheted up sharply the past few months.

It’s not due to the election, and it’s not because the Republican candidates are so compelling and making such brilliant cases against him. That, actually, isn’t happening.

What is happening is that the president is coming across more and more as a trimmer, as an operator who’s not operating in good faith. This is hardening positions and leading to increased political bitterness. And it’s his fault, too. As an increase in polarization is a bad thing, it’s a big fault.

The shift started on Jan. 20, with the mandate that agencies of the Catholic Church would have to provide birth-control services the church finds morally repugnant. The public reaction? “You’re kidding me. That’s not just bad judgment and a lack of civic tact, it’s not even constitutional!” Faced with the blowback, the president offered a so-called accommodation that even its supporters recognized as devious. Not ill-advised, devious. Then his operatives flooded the airwaves with dishonest—not wrongheaded, dishonest—charges that those who defend the church’s religious liberties are trying to take away your contraceptives.

Divide and Conquer! Tell a Lie often enough and want it to be considered the Truth.

What a sour taste this all left. How shocking it was, including for those in the church who’d been in touch with the administration and were murmuring about having been misled.

Events of just the past 10 days have contributed to the shift. There was the open-mic conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in which Mr. Obama pleaded for “space” and said he will have “more flexibility” in his negotiations once the election is over and those pesky voters have done their thing. On tape it looked so bush-league, so faux-sophisticated. When he knew he’d been caught, the president tried to laugh it off by comically covering a mic in a following meeting. It was all so . . . creepy.

Next, a boy of 17 is shot and killed under disputed and unclear circumstances. The whole issue is racially charged, emotions are high, and the only memorable words from the president’s response were, “If I had a son he’d look like Trayvon.” At first it seemed OK—not great, but all right—but as the story continued and suddenly there were death threats and tweeted addresses and congressmen in hoodies, it seemed insufficient to the moment. At the end of the day, the public reaction seemed to be: “Hey buddy, we don’t need you to personalize what is already too dramatic, it’s not about you.”

But everything is about him. It’s all about Him. The greatness of Him. (at least to Him).

Now this week the Supreme Court arguments on ObamaCare, which have made that law look so hollow, so careless, that it amounts to a characterological indictment of the administration. The constitutional law professor from the University of Chicago didn’t notice the centerpiece of his agenda was not constitutional? How did that happen?

He didn’t care. Liberals didn’t care. They just wanted it passed by hook or by crook regardless. By any means necessary, the end justifies the means.

Maybe a stinging decision is coming, maybe not, but in a purely political sense this is how it looks: We were in crisis in 2009—we still are—and instead of doing something strong and pertinent about our economic woes, the president wasted history’s time. He wasted time that was precious—the debt clock is still ticking!—by following an imaginary bunny that disappeared down a rabbit hole.

Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste! 🙂

The high court’s hearings gave off an overall air not of political misfeasance but malfeasance.

Like they care. Like he cares. The End justifies the means.

All these things have hardened lines of opposition, and left opponents with an aversion that will not go away.

I am not saying that the president has a terrible relationship with the American people. I’m only saying he’s made his relationship with those who oppose him worse.

Like he cares….As long as the base, the stupid, the gullible, the dead, the fraudulent and the Illegal vote for him he figures he can win so screw everyone else!

And if he does when with them, he’ll be “more flexible” to want to unless the Full Obama on you, Comrade.

In terms of the broad electorate, I’m not sure he really has a relationship. A president only gets a year or two to forge real bonds with the American people. In that time a crucial thing he must establish is that what is on his mind is what is on their mind. This is especially true during a crisis.

Never Let a Crisis go to Waste. And if you have to invent on, so much the better.

From the day Mr. Obama was sworn in, what was on the mind of the American people was financial calamity—unemployment, declining home values, foreclosures. These issues came within a context of some overarching questions: Can America survive its spending, its taxing, its regulating, is America over, can we turn it around?

That’s what the American people were thinking about.

He wasn’t. He was thinking about Socialism with it’s centerpiece, Government controlled Single Payer Health Care. The Government (his government) gets to decided who lives and who dies. What more could you ask for?

Keynesian Economics! This time it’ll work! 🙂

But the new president wasn’t thinking about that. All the books written about the creation of economic policy within his administration make clear the president and his aides didn’t know it was so bad, didn’t understand the depth of the crisis, didn’t have a sense of how long it would last. They didn’t have their mind on what the American people had their mind on.

They The Disunited Socialist States of The America on their minds. And Never waste a Crisis…

The president had his mind on health care. And, to be fair-minded, health care was part of the economic story. But only a part! And not the most urgent part. Not the most frightening, distressing, immediate part. Not the “Is America over?” part.

I had to be “over” for Obama to succeed. The American Dream was a socialist’s nightmare. You can’t do anything without the Government’s blessing, encouragement or help! How dare you!

And so the relationship the president wanted never really knitted together. Health care was like the birth-control mandate: It came from his hermetically sealed inner circle, which operates with what seems an almost entirely abstract sense of America. They know Chicago, the machine, the ethnic realities. They know Democratic Party politics. They know the books they’ve read, largely written by people like them—bright, credentialed, intellectually cloistered. But there always seems a lack of lived experience among them, which is why they were so surprised by the town hall uprisings of August 2009 and the 2010 midterm elections.

If you jumped into a time machine to the day after the election, in November, 2012, and saw a headline saying “Obama Loses,” do you imagine that would be followed by widespread sadness, pain and a rending of garments? You do not. Even his own supporters will not be that sad. It’s hard to imagine people running around in 2014 saying, “If only Obama were president!” Including Mr. Obama, who is said by all who know him to be deeply competitive, but who doesn’t seem to like his job that much. As a former president he’d be quiet, detached, aloof. He’d make speeches and write a memoir laced with a certain high-toned bitterness. It was the Republicans’ fault. They didn’t want to work with him.

I’d like to see that book. Very soon! 🙂

He will likely not see even then that an American president has to make the other side work with him. You think Tip O’Neill liked Ronald Reagan? You think he wanted to give him the gift of compromise? He was a mean, tough partisan who went to work every day to defeat Ronald Reagan. But forced by facts and numbers to deal, he dealt. So did Reagan.

An American president has to make cooperation happen.

But this President is incapable of making anyone who isn’t already a “yes” man do anything that he wants them to do for any other perceptive that pure force.

He is a poor Emperor Palpatine.

But we’ve strayed from the point. Mr. Obama has a largely nonexistent relationship with many, and a worsening relationship with some.

Really, he cannot win the coming election. But the Republicans, still, can lose it. At this point in the column we usually sigh.

I agree. The Republicans are desperate to lose.

http://dailycaller.com/2012/03/30/mark-steyn-observes-a-very-unattractive-descent-into-tribalism-with-trayvon-martin-case/

OBAMACARE: ANOTHER $17 TRILLION 🙂

Senate Republican staffers continue to look though the 2010 health care reform law to see what’s in it, and their latest discovery is a massive $17 trillion funding gap.

“The more we learn about the bill, the more we learn it is even more unaffordable than was suspected,” said Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Republicans’ budget chief in the Senate.

“The bill has to be removed from the books because we don’t have the money,” he said.

The hidden shortfall between new spending and new taxes was revealed just after Supreme Court justices grilled the law’s supporters about its compliance with the Constitution’s limits on government activity. If the court doesn’t strike down the law, it will force taxpayers to find another $17 trillion to pay for the increased spending.

The $17 trillion in extra promises was revealed by an analysis of the law’s long-term requirements. The additional obligations, when combined with existing Medicare and Medicaid funding shortfalls, leave taxpayers on the hook for an extra $82 trillion in health care obligations over the next 75 years.

The federal government has an additional $17 trillion unfunded gap in other obligations, including Social Security, bringing the total shortfall to $99 trillion.

That shortfall is different from existing debt. The federal government already owes $15 trillion in debt, including $5 trillion in funds borrowed during Obama’s term in office so far.

That $99 trillion in unfunded future expenses is more more than five years of wealth generated by the United States, which now produces just over $15 trillion of value per year.

The $99 trillion funding gap is equal to almost 30 years of the the current federal budget, which was $3.36 trillion for 2011.

Currently, the Social Security system is $7 trillion in debt over the next 75 years, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Also, Medicare will eat up $38 trillion in future taxes, and Medicaid will consume another $2o trillion of the taxpayer’s wealth, according to estimates prepared by the actuarial office at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The short-term cost of the Obamacare law is $2.6 trillion, almost triple the $900 billion cost promised by Obama and his Democratic allies, said Sessions.

The extra $17 trillion gap was discovered by applying standard federal estimates and models to the law’s spending obligations, Sessions said.

For example, Session’s examination of the health care law’s “premium support” program shows a funding gap $12 billion wider that predicted.

The same review also showed the law added another $5 trillion in unfunded obligations for the Medicaid program.

“President Obama told the American people that his health law would cost $900 billion over ten years and that it would not add ‘one dime’ to the debt… this health law adds an entirely new obligation—one we cannot pay for—and puts the entire financing of the United States government in jeopardy,” Sessions said in a floor speech.

“We don’t have the money… We have to reduce the [obligations] that we have.” (DC)

But it “feels” good. You don’t want to “mean”, “heartless”, “racist” and discriminate against the poor now do you? 🙂

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Reality Check

WSJ: What a president should ideally have, and what I think we all agree Mr. Obama badly needs, is an assistant whose sole job it is to explain and interpret the American people to him. Presidents already have special assistants for domestic policy, for congressional relations and national security. Why not a special assistant for reality? Someone to translate the views of the people, and explain how they think. An advocate for the average, a representative for the normal, to the extent America does normal.

If Mr. Obama had a special assistant for reality this week, this is how their dialogue might have gone over the anti-TSA uprising.

President: This thing is all ginned up, isn’t it? Right-wing websites fanned it. Then the mainstream media jumped in to display their phony populist street cred. Right?

Special Assistant for Reality: No, Mr. President, it was more spontaneous. Websites can’t fan fires that aren’t there. This is like the town hall uprisings of summer 2009. In the past month, citizens took videos at airports the same way town hall protesters made videos there, and put them on YouTube. The more pictures of pat-downs people saw, the more they opposed them.

President: What’s the essence of the opposition?

SAR: Sir, Americans don’t like it when strangers touch their private parts. Especially when the strangers are in government uniforms and say they’re here to help.

President: Is it that we didn’t roll it out right? We made a mistake in not telling people in advance we were changing the procedure.

SAR: Um, no, Mr. President. If you’d told them in advance, they would have rebelled sooner.

President: We should have pointed out not everyone goes through the new machines, and only a minority get patted down.

SAR: Mr. President, if you’d told people, “Hello, there’s only 1 chance in 3 you’ll be molested at the airport today” most people wouldn’t think, “Oh good, I like those odds.”

President: But the polls are with me. People support the screenings.

SAR: At the moment, according to some. But most Americans don’t fly frequently, and the protocols are new. As time passes, support will go steadily down.

President: I’ve noted with sensitivity that I’m aware all this is a real inconvenience.

SAR: It’s not an inconvenience, it’s a humiliation. In the new machine, and in the pat-downs, citizens are told to spread their feet and put their hands in the air. It’s an attitude of submission—the same one the cops make the perps assume on “America’s Most Wanted.” Then, while you stand there in public in the attitude of submission, strangers touch intimate areas of your body. It’s a violation of privacy. It leaves people feeling reduced. It’s like society has decided you’re a meat sack and not a soul. Humans have a natural, untaught understanding of the apartness of their bodies, and they don’t like it when their space is violated. They recoil, and protest.

President: But you can have the pat-downs done in private.

SAR: Mr. President, you don’t know this, but when you ask for that, a lot of TSA people get pretty passive-aggressive. They get Bureaucratic Dead Face and start barking, “I need a supervisor! Private pat-down!” And everyone looks, and the line slows down, and you start to feel like you’re putting everyone out. You wait and wait, and finally they get another TSA person, and they take you into the little room and it’s embarrassing, and you start to realize you’re going to miss your plane. It’s then that you realize: all this is how they discourage private pat-downs.

President: I’ve wondered if this general feeling of discomfort might be related to a certain Puritan strain within American thinking—a kind of horror at the body that, melded with, say, old Catholic teaching, not to be pejorative, might make for a pretty combustible cultural cocktail. This heightened consciousness of the body might suggest an element of physical shame we hadn’t taken into account.

SAR: Mr. President, the rebellion isn’t shame-based, it’s John Wayne-based.

President: I don’t follow.

SAR: John Wayne removes his boots and hat and puts his six-shooter on the belt, he gets through the scanner, and now he’s standing there and sees what’s being done to other people. A TSA guy is walking toward him, snapping his rubber gloves. Guy gets up close to Wayne, starts feeling his waist and hips. Wayne says, “Touch the jewels, Pilgrim, and I’ll knock you into tomorrow.”

President: John Wayne is dead.

SAR: No, he’s not. You’ve got to understand that. Everyone’s got an Inner Duke, even grandma.

President: What should I do?

SAR: Back off. Say you spent a day watching YouTube. You’re not giving in to pressure, you’re conceding to common sense. “Free men and women have a right not to be trifled with. We’ll find a better way.”

President: If I don’t?

SAR: Well, every businessman in America already thinks you’ve been grabbing his gonads. You’ll continue that general symbolism.

President: Janet Napolitano won’t like it. Drudge is always after her. He’ll get all “Big Sis Bows Now.” She might quit.

SAR: Oh God, yes. A twofer!

President: I’d look like I got rolled.

SAR: Then look strong. Fire her. She’s been a disaster from day one. Now she’s the face of the debacle.

President: Won’t they think I’m weak?

SAR: No. They’ll think you returned to Planet Earth. They’ll think ground control broke through to Major Tom. They’ll think you took a step outside the bubble.

BUT reality is not the strong suit of progressive liberals, especially ones as enamored of their own Godhood as Obama and as power mad as Pelosi and Napolitano.

Good example is the looming largest tax increase on everyone. EVERYONE.

The Democrats who control this lame duck are still puffing themselves up with Amnesty and Taking over the Internet and more Stimulus for god’s sake!

The Agenda is still the Agenda, even now!

And let’s not even talk about the North Koreans. They laugh at Obama.

Iran eats him for lunch, then laughs.

And the Russians are salivating to get the new START treaty signed, knowing we’ll hold up our end and they won’t.

The only people scared of what Obama will do are THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

And they have a right to be scared.

Political Cartoon by Gary Varvel
Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez
Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Reality is a Dish Best Served Cold

Optimists think that if we manage to turn a few things around, their kids may have it . . . almost as good. The country they inherit may be . . . almost as good. And it’s kind of a shock to think like this; pessimism isn’t in our DNA. But it isn’t pessimism, really, it’s a kind of tough knowingness, combined, in most cases, with a daily, personal commitment to keep plugging.

But do our political leaders have any sense of what people are feeling deep down? They don’t act as if they do. I think their detachment from how normal people think is more dangerous and disturbing than it has been in the past. I started noticing in the 1980s the growing gulf between the country’s thought leaders, as they’re called—the political and media class, the universities—and those living what for lack of a better word we’ll call normal lives on the ground in America. The two groups were agitated by different things, concerned about different things, had different focuses, different world views.

But I’ve never seen the gap wider than it is now. I think it is a chasm. In Washington they don’t seem to be looking around and thinking, Hmmm, this nation is in trouble, it needs help. They’re thinking something else. I’m not sure they understand the American Dream itself needs a boost, needs encouragement and protection. They don’t seem to know or have a sense of the mood of the country.

And so they make their moves, manipulate this issue and that, and keep things at a high boil. And this at a time when people are already in about as much hot water as they can take.

To take just one example from the past 10 days, the federal government continues its standoff with the state of Arizona over how to handle illegal immigration. The point of view of our thought leaders is, in general, that borders that are essentially open are good, or not so bad. The point of view of those on the ground who are anxious about our nation’s future, however, is different, more like: “We live in a welfare state and we’ve just expanded health care. Unemployment’s up. Could we sort of calm down, stop illegal immigration, and absorb what we’ve got?” No is, in essence, the answer.

An irony here is that if we stopped the illegal flow and removed the sense of emergency it generates, comprehensive reform would, in time, follow. Because we’re not going to send the estimated 10 million to 15 million illegals already here back. We’re not going to put sobbing children on a million buses. That would not be in our nature. (Do our leaders even know what’s in our nature?) As years passed, those here would be absorbed, and everyone in the country would come to see the benefit of integrating them fully into the tax system. So it’s ironic that our leaders don’t do what in the end would get them what they say they want, which is comprehensive reform.

When the adults of a great nation feel long-term pessimism, it only makes matters worse when those in authority take actions that reveal their detachment from the concerns—even from the essential nature—of their fellow citizens. And it makes those citizens feel powerless.

Inner pessimism and powerlessness: That is a dangerous combination. (Peggy Noonan)

And as one who was not abundant, and still isn’t, when I see what I see and the complete disconnect from reality that is the Twilight Zone at the Beltway around D.C. I do wonder about this.

I have no kids, I probably never will.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t look at the kids I see on the street and wonder what life is going to be like for them when they are my age.

And I don’t think it will be that good, certainly not like their childhood.

And that is a sad legacy.

But to pick up on Mrs. Noonan’s point about Arizona. (as an aside, where is the lawsuit against Missouri for slapping the government in the face? Are there not enough Latinos in the state to warrant it?).

IBD: In federal lawsuits, defendants may answer litigation filed against them with a counterclaim against the plaintiff for damages or other relief.

The Constitution of the United States mandates at Article 4: “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a republican form of government … that the United States shall protect each of them (the states) against invasion and … against domestic violence.”

“Republican form of government” is defined as a republic that is a system of government in which the people hold sovereign power and elect representatives to exercise that power.

To “guarantee” means to warrant or undertake that something has happened or will happen. The term “invasion” is (regarding a country or territory ) a hostile incursion.

The term “shall” used in the third person singular denotes an imperative, without discretion or choice. Thus, the phrase “shall guarantee” leaves no wiggle room.

Remedies for breach of guarantee are damages (expenses incurred in repairing guaranteed product) or rescission (return of product for refund of purchase price — i.e., “money back” guarantee).

Recently, the federal government — the present regime in particular — has not only violated the guarantee of republican form of government and the pledge to protect Arizona from invasion and domestic violence, but has actively worked to achieve the exact opposite result.

By the federal government’s determined resistance to enforcing existing federal law against illegal immigration and attempting to penalize Arizona for attempting to cope with illegal immigration on its own, the federal government has crassly flouted its obligation to guarantee a republican form of government for the state of Arizona.

One of the most effective means for destroying a republic is to bankrupt it and beggar its people.

It’s the only thing Obama & Co ARE good at.

This is what befell Rome, which went from a republic to what would now be called a dictatorship as a result of the financial drain on the country resulting from the empire.

In the case of Arizona, recent figures disclose that illegal immigration costs the state $2.5 billion annually. This amounts to approximately $400 for every man, woman and child in the state, which has a population of less than 7 million.

The federal government has not only filed litigation against Arizona, but informed an association of Arizona sheriffs that it intends to prosecute as an example at least one deputy for enforcing Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration legislation (SB 1070).

There are reports the administration is seeking ways to cease doing business with Arizona and is encouraging other states to do the same, to exercise economic coercion on the state.
The administration has praised the efforts of states such as California for economically boycotting Arizona. The sanctions the administration has imposed on Arizona are hardly less draconian than those that the same administration has imposed on Iran to prevent Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. All this for Arizona’s daring to exercise its republican form of government and passing widely popular legislation in a manner completely consistent with Arizona’s Constitution.

The Obama administration has thus tried to take control of Arizona and abridge/suppress its republican government in substance and in process.

Also violated by the federal government is the pledge to protect Arizona from invasion. The enormous influx of illegal immigrants into Arizona—uninvited, demanding and belligerent—clearly constitutes a hostile incursion.

The surge in illegal immigration has brought with it crime and violence. Phoenix is now the kidnap capital of America as a result of the Mexican gangs that have invaded Arizona using kidnapping as a form of turf acquisition and protection.

Notably, on the Independence Day weekend this year a Mexican drug gang announced that the border with Mexico and Arizona was “moved” several miles into Arizona whereby Interstate Highway 8 would now be the border. There was no response to this by the Obama administration.

I feel I should point out that Insterstate 8 is not “several miles from the border. It is a LOT of miles from the border!!

Interstate 8 starts/ends at  Interstate 10 just south of  Casa Grande, AZ. THAT IS 40 Miles from My house in South Phoenix!!!!

That is 134 miles from the Nogales, AZ on the border!!!

What we do have at the border are signs warning Americans to stay away from the gangs and cartels!!


It is undeniable that the federal government has shamelessly and willfully violated its guarantee and pledges under Article 4, constituting suitable grounds for counterclaims by Arizona against the federal government.

The question is whether the remedy for such violation should be rescission or damages. If the latter, a figure of $2.5 billion annually could be employed per the latest studies projected backward as well as forward. As to the rescission alternative (the “money back” guarantee, whereby the contract is undone or rescinded), this would constitute rescission of the breached agreement whereby Arizona entered the union in 1912.

Gaspers in disbelief regarding rescission/secession should know that there is nothing sacrosanct about the federal government; only the Constitution is inviolable. When the federal government willfully refuses to comply with a constitutional mandate, the Constitution can be upheld only by implementing its provisions, in this case the “money back” guarantee.

An independent Arizona can contract with the federal government for defense, as do small cities with the counties in which they are located, for police/fire protection. The outsourcing of defense by an independent Arizona might be expensive, but with the money saved from illegal immigration, Arizona could afford it.

The federal government might even make money on the deal and, for the first time, turn a profit on something.

To those who would label this “draconian,” the answer is this is a race to a precipice with a sheer drop greater than that of Arizona’s crown jewel, the Grand Canyon.

Personally, we’d go for damages. What’s 10 or 20 billion nowadays anyway? If the verdict came down in the early-ish morning, the Obama administration could have the money printed up by lunchtime.

After all, after the $4 Trillion Dollars in 19 Months with nothing to so for it,so what if they’d spend what another few billion…

It’s not like it’s real money to them anyhow…

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. –Martin Luther King, Jr.

The challenge that is already with us is the temptation to accept as true freedom what in reality is only a new form of slavery. —Pope John Paul II